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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Reflecting for the Longview

This week has been a great boon to me. Despite the cold and general yuckiness I'm fighting right now, I've been able to really sort through myself.

The first thing I realized is that not wanting to go back to school is neither a good reason not to do so but also lazy. No matter what, I still have to go through the complete discernment process (through which one becomes ordained in the Episcopal church) and then take the damned GRE, but I feel it's time to go for it. Why not live by the faith I already have been. At one point I actually put some of the pieces together, the sick and poor in South Africa, the homeless here in New Jersey and now trying to build and wield leadership in my current position here at St. John's.

There is an arc here, and I'm learning to embrace it. I want to become an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church. Few would be surprised by this, as it is not news that I have been considering it for nearly a decade. I've taken a look at it from so many angles, and I feel it is time to jump in and do it.

Now I'm looking forward to discernment day here in the Diocese of Newark, and I really look forward to a few days following in which I hope to go to Berkeley, California to visit CDSP, Church Divinity School of the Pacific. The more I read about CDSP and the Graduate Theological Union the more I feel something in me calling out, and that makes me excited. Also, it reminds me of this song by Green Day, which is really written for the city of Oakland, but whatever.

The other thing that has been going on is that I have been reading Henri Nouwen's The Wounded Healer. It is essentially Nouwen's attempt to articulate the paradigms of the minister that he felt the church needed then and into the future.

"But for a man with a deep-rooted faith in the value and meaning of life, every experience holds a new promise, every encounter carries a new insight, and every event brings a new message. But these promises, insights, and messages have to be discovered and made visible. A Christian leader is not a leader because he announces a new idea and tries to convince others of its worth; he is a leader because he faces the world with eyes full of expectation, with the expertise to take away the veil that covers its hidden potential. Christian leadership is called ministry precisely to express that in the service of others new life can be brought about." (The Wounded Healer, pp 74-75)

And that fits so much with how I view the idea of resurrection and my experiences in life so far. My deep-rooted faith has carried me through a number of dark and troubling places and situations near and far, and I've seen that the sun still comes up and the new day shines with forgiveness of forgetfulness and grace. So now I want to say that so you can see it, and then help you live it too. The idea of this makes me feel whole and in touch with myself, and it gives me such immense joy. What makes me very hopeful is that I think I see a way to carry all of it out. Between all of these mini-but-major revelations and what vision I have I feel more relaxed, confident and excited than I can remember.

I think I got my swagger back. Thanks be to God.

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